A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?
I preach twice on Sundays. A typical service at the church where I pastor runs for two hours, with half of that time given to preaching. That means I preach two one-hour messages each week. I also usually have short meetings with the church leaders before or after church. Plus I enjoy a mid-morning brunch with my wife, our kids and the grandkids. 
 
Needless to say, by Sunday afternoon, I’m tired. That’s when I head straight for my favorite chair to rest. But before I know it, I’m asleep. No bed needed. No blanket required. No pillow necessary. If football is on, I nod off in front of the game and miss a quarter or two. Every week I think this is going to be the week I’ll be man enough to just “rest” for a while, and I won’t fall asleep. But I usually do.
 
Jesus wasn’t reclining in an easy chair in Mark 4.
 
Jesus wasn’t reclining in an easy chair in Mark 4. He didn’t nod off in front of a football game with His stomach full from a hearty brunch. It was night. It was dark. It was windy. The boat was rocking fiercely in the middle of a savage storm that threatened to sink it. How do you fall asleep during that? Granted, Jesus was surely exhausted after a long day of teaching and ministry, but He did more than just nod off. When Jesus went to sleep on the boat, he did so on purpose. 
 
How do I know this? The passage tells us. Verse 38 says He was “sleeping on the cushion.” Jesus had grabbed a pillow and moved to the stern—the back of the boat—where He could stretch out and get comfortable! When you’re stretched out, asleep on a pillow, you meant to go to sleep. If you’ve got a pillow tucked under your head, that’s purposeful snoring. 
 
If you’ve got a pillow tucked under your head, that’s purposeful snoring. 
 
So how could Jesus sleep through such a squall, even as His disciples feared for their lives? Perhaps He wanted to test whether they would trust His word or the weather. He wanted to see if they would trust what He had said more than the circumstances around them. 
 
Jesus had already told them what they were going to do. He had said, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the sea.” Jesus could sleep in the midst of the storm because of that one sentence. He didn’t say, “Let’s go to the middle of the sea and then sink and drown.” Rather, Jesus said, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the sea.” No storm would alter His plan.
 
Jesus’ disciples did what we often do when we go to church. They did what we often do when we listen to a sermon or participate in a Bible study. We often hear the message without applying the meaning. Had the disciples heard the intended implication of what Jesus had said, perhaps they would have grabbed their own pillows. Instead, they had heard the words but missed the promise. 
 
When you find yourself in a problem, don’t forget the promise. Remember what Jesus said. He is right there with you. Grab a pillow, and trust Him to calm the waves.
 
Grab a pillow, and trust Him to calm the waves.
 
 

Check out more from Dr. Tony Evans @tonyevans.org

 

About The Author

Dr. Tony Evans

Dr. Tony Evans is one of the country’s most respected leaders in evangelical circles. As a pastor, teacher, author and speaker, he serves the body of Christ through his unique ability to communicate complex theological truths through simple, yet profound, illustrations. While addressing the practical issues of today, Dr. Evans is known as a relevant expositor. New and veteran pastors alike regard him as a pastor of pastors and a father in the faith.


At the heart of this vision is the use of church and school partnerships to effect spiritual and social change in communities. Dr. Evans’ church and school outreach philosophy has been attributed as a catalyst for former President George W. Bush’s Faith Based Initiative, which was his first formal act of office. Dr. Evans seeks to train churches, schools and volunteers in this philosophy, as well as in the functional practicalities, through the National Church Adopt-A-School Initiative which is a ministry underneath the umbrella of The Urban Alternative.


Dr. Evans serves as president of The Urban Alternative, a national ministry that seeks to restore hope and transform lives through the proclamation and the application of the Word of God. His daily radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on more than 850 radio outlets throughout the United States and in more than 80 countries.


Dr. Evans has written numerous books and booklets including his legacy work, Oneness Embraced, as well as his vision work, The Kingdom Agenda. Some of his most recent books includes, Kingdom Man, A Moment For Your Soul, Marriage Matters, and Victory in Spiritual Warfare.

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